The picture depicts the Kustodiev family - his wife and first-born. Early in the morning, the mother brought the baby into the room to bathe. Sunlight is pouring from the window, it illuminates a table cluttered with things, a fireplace that does not burn due to heat, a vase with white chrysanthemums on it, a small basin.
Mother is dressed in a light white blouse, a black skirt. Her hair was stabbed high so that the child, splashing, would not wet them. She bends low to the bath and draws clear water in her palms to water the baby. That plump, pink-cheeked, with blond short hair, also reaches for water, as if trying to repeat the mother's gesture. He has wrinkles of fat at his wrists, pink knees, and he looks very focused, as if the success of the whole enterprise depends on his help.
The picture is warm and cozy. The apartment is not too richly furnished, but with taste and love. The woman is not very beautiful, but in the way she bathes her son, great care and attention is felt. A baby is not much different from any other baby, but it is written with love and accuracy, as if the artist set himself the task of transferring his son to the canvas as accurately as possible.
This is a small idyll of the family, expressed in everyday details. In how the baby clings to his mother's hand when he first tries to go. In how the mother reads him a bedtime story and returns the bright rattle thrown by him. In the way she teaches him to play, teaches him to count, teaches to be a real person.
These actions are one for all, but in each family they lose in their own way. As in the theaters where the hero is thick in one troupe, the chrome is in the other, the text is forgotten in the third, and shortness of breath is in the fourth, so in the family the actions are colored according to the one who plays them.
And if a loving family plays them, they are very different from those that are played where there is no love.
Picture by Edward Manet Breakfast on the Grass